Conjunctivitis, or pink eye as it is better known, is a very common ailment of the eye. It is actually a group of diseases that can cause the symptoms we associate with pink eye: swelling, itching, burning and redness of the conjunctiva, which is the protective membrane that lines the eyelids and covers exposed areas of the white of your eye.
Your eyes may be teary and feel gritty, and you will likely notice a discharge. This discharge is often the symptom that truly alerts you to the infection, because it can cause a crust to form while you sleep that will make your eye difficult to open in the morning. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, throw out your contact lenses and stop wearing them until your symptoms subside. Pink eye is very contagious, affecting millions of Americans at any given time. If you have pink eye do your best to avoid rubbing your eyes, and wash your pillowcases to eliminate any bacteria that may have spread. Washing your hands frequently can also help prevent the disease from spreading. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, allergy, environmental irritants, a contact lens product or eye drops.
The infection can sometimes heal itself without medical treatment, but if your symptoms last for more than a day you should make an appointment at Cornea Consultants of Albany so we can treat your eye before any further damage is caused. To ease discomfort until you can begin treatment you can try alternating warm and cold compresses to your eye for a few minutes at a time. Artificial tears may give you some relief as well. We treat pink eye with antibiotics that are typically administered in the form of eye drops, and the infection clears up relatively quickly. Even though pink eye is very common and will likely not have any effect on your vision, it can cause a lot of discomfort. It is our priority to ease this discomfort and heal your eye so that it is no longer pink and painful.